Charl Schwartzel (Getty Images)
Charl Schwartzel raced into a three shot lead as the second round of the Maybank Malaysian Open began in Kuala Lumpur.
Three behind Kiradech Aphibarnrat overnight, the South African’s first task was to complete the last seven holes of his opening round, which had been delayed.
Schwartzel, who won back-to-back tournaments in December last year by a combined total of 23 shots, was four under par after 11 holes of his first round when thunderstorms forced play to be abandoned for the day.
The South African was among 78 players who resumed play this morning at 7.45am local time and completed an opening 67 in style, chipping in for a birdie on the 18th.
That left the 2011 Masters Tournament champion two shots off the clubhouse lead held by Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, but it did not take him long to wipe out that deficit when the second round got under way.
Starting from the tenth, Schwartzel birdied his first two holes and picked up two more shots on the 17th and 18th to be out in 32, while further birdies followed on the third and fifth.
At 11 under par he now led by three shots from China's Ashun Wu, with Aphibarnrat a shot further back and yet to start his second round.
Scotland's Scott Jamieson, who was one off the lead after completing an opening 66, remained six under after three birdies and three bogeys in 13 holes of his second round.
World Number Three Luke Donald, who needed a major improvement on his opening 74 to make the cut, was among the later starters, as was Aphibarnrat.